RONA INC.
TSX : RON

RONA INC.

March 27, 2009 11:00 ET

RONA Encouraging Canadian Consumers to Cut Back on Single-Use Plastic Shopping Bags in Favour of Reusable Formats

BOUCHERVILLE, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - March 27, 2009) - RONA inc. (TSX:RON), Canada's largest distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products, has announced that as of June 1, Canadian consumers wishing to take their purchases home from RONA stores in single-use plastic bags will have to pay 5 cents each for the bags. This measure aims at encouraging consumers to adopt reusable shopping bags, a more environmentally-friendly alternative for their hardware, home renovation and gardening purchases. With this initiative, RONA wants to help shoppers adopt responsible consumption habits and reduce the company's environmental footprint. Canadians take home an estimated 55 million single-use plastic bags per week - nearly 3 billion bags a year.

"Our new shopping bag policy allows consumers everywhere in Canada to do something that's ecologically responsible by opting for reusable bags instead of plastic ones when they visit a RONA store," said RONA President and CEO Robert Dutton. "RONA is committed to becoming the Canadian industry leader in sustainable development, and we think ceasing to provide free single-use plastic bags is an effective way of cutting down on the number of bags in circulation. We're well aware of the harmful impact these bags are having on the environment. As a plastic bag takes nearly 400 years to break down in a landfill site, we need to avoid their use, or else make sure they're recycled to prevent this situation."

As of June 1, RONA will also introduce a new size of reusable bag that consumers can use for carrying larger purchases instead of having to take a single-use plastic bag, in addition to the medium-sized reusable bag already available in stores. At the same time, the various sizes of plastic bags currently available in RONA stores will be replaced by a single plastic format that's made from recycled and recyclable materials. The 5-cent charge will help support eco-responsible initiatives.

In Toronto, a municipal regulation making the 5-cent charge mandatory for all single-use plastic bags will also go into effect on June 1.

RONA and environmental responsibility

RONA's new shopping bag policy is part of the company's commitment to sustainable development. As the largest retailer and distributor of hardware, home renovation and gardening products in Canada, RONA believes it has both the opportunity and the responsibility to make a positive difference in our society by becoming the country's industry leader in sustainable development. Sustainable development as practiced on a day-to-day basis at RONA depends on three major pillars the company has identified and made priorities for action: economic development, social commitment and respect for the environment.

Among RONA's environmental initiatives is the development of the RONA ECO line of products, which have a smaller environmental footprint throughout their entire life cycle, making them eco-responsible choices. Products are selected based on rigorous criteria, in partnership with the International Chair in Life Cycle Assessment. Products can be identified in store thanks to specific signage which also provides complete, unbiased information on the environmental characteristics of the different categories of eco-responsible products, outlining why items were selected.

Last fall, RONA adopted a new wood products procurement policy for all its stores across Canada. RONA's new policy is intended to help preserve wilderness areas, promote responsible consumption and achieve the company's objective of providing certified forest products for its customers.

And beginning July 1, all stores from the RONA network will stop selling synthetic pesticides for cosmetic use. RONA will continue to introduce eco-responsible alternatives to pesticides to support consumers in the adoption of eco-responsible gardening and lawn care practices.

These are just a few of RONA's concrete environmental initiatives. Visit www.rona.ca for more.

About RONA

RONA is the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products. RONA operates a network of close to 700 franchise, affiliate and corporate stores of various sizes and formats. With close to 30,000 employees working under its family of banners in every region of Canada and more than 15 million square feet of retail space, the RONA store network generates over $6.3 billion in annual retail sales. Visit www.rona.ca.

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